May 25, 1920 (13th Parliament, 4th Session)


Michael Clark



Mr. Speaker, in rising to detain the House for what I hope will be no very great length of time, considering that it is a Budget debate, I feel that it is my duty to voice what is a very general sentiment, and that is a sentiment of gratification that I once more apeak in the presence of my right hon friend the Prime Minister of Canada. Sir, those of us who in an intimate degree shared the heavy load which the country placed upon his shoulders followed his search for health with the utmost sympathy, and in my own case I can say truly that my mind and heart were continually with him. I have had the honour of being his colleague in this House for twelve years. We have differed politically-we never differed otherwise,-we never differed except in opinion. His tenacity during the whole of the great struggle, and especially his statesmanlike patience in hanging on to the tough job of forming Union Government, have made it certain that when the heedless blast of time has swept away the passion and the prejudices of the present the name of Borden will occupy no lowly place on the lid of those who, in the Great War, kept the standard floating in high places of the field.
I feel sure the House joins with me in offering my right hon. friend the warmest congratulations that our hearts can conceive on his return to work and our best wishes for a long and useful public service in the future.
I turn to another matter when I compliment my old friend the Minister of Finance (Sir Henry Drayton) on the personal aspects of his financial statement. I think every one I have heard speak of his speech has admitted that the preparation and presentation of his case was somewhat in the nature oif a personal triumph. For the case itself, Sir, I perhaps cannot say quite-so much-that will develop as I go along

Meantime I must remember that we are dealing with an Amendment as well as with a Budget Speech. There are considerable disadvantages attaching to the practice of moving amendments to a complicated Budget on the part of the chief critic in one's having to plan before having seen the Budget itself. I cannot help thinking that if my hon. friend from Shelburne and Queen's (Mr. Fielding) had heard the Budget Speech and studied it for a day or two he would have produced a rather different amendment than that which he presented to the House. I should have hoped it would have contained more milk and less water under those circumstances, and would have been less a shilly-shally, temporizing, and opportunist piece of print. Nevertheless it has one virtue-it calls for a downward revision of the tariff.

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